Winners of two in a row the New Orleans Pelicans are making a late charge to climb into the play-in scenario in the Western Conference. They’ll have a chance to make up ground on the Golden State Warriors in the chase with Monday’s tilt in the Big Easy the first of back-to-back games between the clubs. The Pels are three-games behind the Warriors for ninth place in the standings and face a must-win with time running out on the season. The teams will also meet next week in the Bay Area to complete the season series.
This NBA matchup takes place on Monday, May 3, 2021 and will air live on ESPN with tip off at 7:30 p.m. ET from Smoothie King Center.
Golden State Warriors vs New Orleans Pelicans Odds
Spread: Golden State Warriors +3 | New Orleans Pelicans -3
Money Line: Golden State Warriors +132 | New Orleans Pelicans –148
Season to Date
It’s a little odd that teams in the same conference are playing for the first time this late in the season. The Dubs and Pels will face each other on consecutive nights and three times over the next 12 days with New Orleans needing as many wins as possible to climb into the 10th spot and a possible play-in. The Warriors made things interesting last week with losses to Dallas and Minnesota.
They put an end to that mini-slide by thumping Houston 113-87 last time out earning their first payout in four games. The Warriors had been playing good basketball winning seven of their previous nine contests while going 6-3 ATS to gain some separation in the race for a play-in spot. The good news for the Warriors is that they will be playing their final road games of the regular season with the two tilts in New Orleans. The Dubs have the fewest wins among the top-10 clubs in the West going 13-21 SU and ATS in away contests this season.
The Pelicans played like a team fighting for its play-in life last time out. Trailing Minnesota by 10 with a few minutes left in regulation they closed the quarter on a 14-4 run to force overtime and leaned on Zion Williamson in the extra session for a crucial win. It was their second straight victory and third in four games with the lone setback in that span a tough one in Denver where Williamson was stopped on a potential game-tying dunk. They did cover in that setback and are 4-0 ATS in their last four games. With Saturday’s win the Pels improved to 29-35 SU and 30-34 ATS.
Golden State Warriors
Any success the Warriors have is because of Steph Curry. The NBA’s leading scorer has been on a tear for weeks and he’s been unstoppable even though opponents know what’s coming. You might be able to slow him down, but Curry keeps coming at you and will score his points. He dropped 30 on the Rockets last time out, giving him 15 games of 30 or more points in his last 17 outings. The two times he failed to score 30 the Warriors lost showing us just how important his contributions are. He also sat out a game in Toronto last month and the Dubs lost by 53 points.
Curry’s offensive outburst hasn’t translated for OVER bettors. With a lot of help from the Rockets, who shot just 21 percent from three-point range, the Dubs cashed the UNDER in their 113-87 triumph. The UNDER is 10-7 in the last 17 games Curry has played and 38-26 for the season. With Curry out of the lineup last season the teams paid the UNDER in all three games and in four of the last five meetings overall.
New Orleans Pelicans
It may be a case of too little too late, but at least the Pelicans are fighting to the end. What could have been a disaster for the club might end up being a positive. The Pels dropped a number of games this season by giving up late leads, but they flipped the script against the Wolves last time out escaping with a 140-136 victory, their second straight and third in four games. They overcame a 10-point fourth quarter deficit and got seven of Williamson’s 37 points in overtime covering the 3.5-point line for their fourth straight payout and fifth in six games.
“We got the win. In the locker room, that’s all we care about. We got the win and it allows us to go back home with great momentum and hopefully we can carry it,” Zion said after the Minnesota game. Getting to the 10th seed or higher isn’t going to be easy, but the schedule gives the Pels a chance with three of their final eight games against Golden State. They will need to be better defensively since they allow opponents to shoot better than 38 percent from three-point range, and that’s where Curry makes a living.
Warriors vs Pelicans Prediction
Our picks: New Orleans Pelicans -3 and OVER 235.5
The Pels have been in playoff mode for some time as they try to make up ground in the standings. And we’ve seen them play exciting basketball while winning games. They are fun to watch and they can score points giving a lot of value to the OVER. They might not make the play-in but they aren’t going down without a fight.